Wednesday, January 24, 2018

God in Us, God with Us,
God Transforming Us
By Scot McKnight

OVERVIEW: Open To The Spirit begins with the bold truth that God is alive and well and indwells us. That's the seminal idea and invitation behind world-renowned New Testament scholar Scot McKnight's new book. Rather than a scholarly treatise or systematic theology, Open to the Spirit is a practical exploration of more than a dozen biblical themes about the Holy Spirit.

AUTHOR: Scot Knight (PhD. University of Nottingham) is professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lisle, Illinois. He is the acclaimed author of more than sixty books, including The Jesus Creed, The Heaven Promise, and The Hum of Angels. He regularly speaks at venues such as Catalyst, the Q Conference, and churches throughout the world.

My Review: Scot McKnight is one of my favorite authors and so I was eager to get my hands on Open To The Spirit. I was not disappointed! This is a great book about God being in us, with us and transforming us. Wow! It seems to me that everybody should be eager to read a book like this. But, of course, I know they are not. So let me rethink that and say, this is a book that every Christian should be eager to read.

"The identity of the Holy Spirit has perplexed believers for centuries. What specifically does the Spirit do in our lives? How can we know the Spirit more deeply and tap into the Spirit's power? Is it possible to be more aware of the Spirit's promptings and speaking into our lives?" McKnight helps answer these questions and to realize that God is alive and well and indwells us.

The book has five strong parts: Part 1: Open To The God Who Speaks; Part 2: Open To The New Creation Of The Spirit; Part 3: Open to The People Of The Spirit; Part 4: Open To The Virtues Of The Spirit; Part 5:Open To The Victory Of The Spirit.

Open To The Spirit will help you discover how to be increasingly open to the Spirit every moment of every day, it will change your understanding of the Bible; how to relate to others, how you approach worship; and how you experience victory over sin, sickness, and death. Get this book.

(I received this book from Blogging For Books in exchange for a fair and honest review.)



By Brant Hansen

OVERVIEW: Blessed Are the Misfits is both highly provocative and humbly personal. Leavened with the dry, self-effacing humor that is a hallmark of Hansen's style, it will help you embrace the freedom to be yourself even as you discover just how astonishingly good God really is.

AUTHOR: Brant Hanson is a syndicated radio host heard nationwide on more than two hundred stations and on the popular Brant and Sherri Oddcast podcast. His writing has been featured online by CNN, the Washington Post, Relevant Magazine, and US News and World Report. He also speaks across the country about his faith, his life as an "Aspie" (he was diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder). and his work with CURE International. Follow Brant on Twitter and Instagram at @branthansen, "Brant Hansen Page" on Facebook, or at

MY REVIEW: This special book brings great news for believers who are introverts, spiritual strugglers, or just feel like they're missing something. I agree with radio host, Lisa Barry who wrote, "This book is one-of-a-kind and such a breath of fresh air! If God seems to stir the emotions of everyone on the planet, except's not just you! In Blessed Are the Misfits, Brant Hansen has signed a clean bill of health for those of us who feel as though our lack of emotional fervor is a disease to be cured!"

Broadcaster, author, Joe Battaglia said it better than I ever could, "Blessed Are the Misfits is provocative, and it is also wonderful. Brant makes it clear: for those who want God, He is in it with you. And that's great news for all the 'misfits' who feel like God is distant and they just don't belong. This book will refresh your weary, good-work-oriented soul. Pick it up and rejoice!"

My name is Clifton Ditmore and I'm an introvert. There. I said it. I'm an introvert. And yet for forty-seven years I got up every Sunday and preached to people gathered for worship. But I never felt comfortable speaking to individuals or small groups. Also on Sunday evenings I was drained. I was emotionally worn out. Public speaking and socializing will do that to introverts. I wish I could have read Blessed Are The Misfits back then. Life would have been much easier for me.

The warning on the book reads, "If modern church culture makes perfect sense to you and you always fit in seamlessly, don't read this." I add, if you struggle to be social, confident, or happy,if you feel like a misfit—get this book.

(I received this book from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for a fair and honest review.)


Monday, December 18, 2017

A Prescription For Moral And Cultural
By Michael L. Brown, PhD

OVERVIEW: In this hope-giving new book, Dr. brown reveals how to respond to the toughest of issues without compromising grace or biblical truth. Writing in clear, compelling prose, Dr. Brown takes on difficult subjects ranging from the sexualization of pop culture to the dumbing down of our schools, from the weakening of family structures to a pervasive culture of entitlement, while pointing consistently to the Bible's solution to these problems.

AUTHOR: Michael L. Brown holds a PhD in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from New York University and has served as a visiting or adjunct professor at seven top seminaries. The author of more than twenty-five books, Brown leads a ministry school that specializes in world missions and has preached and taught across America and around the world. He hosts the nationally syndicated Line of Fire radio program, as well as an apologetics TV program and appears often on national media. He and his wife, Nancy, have two children and four grandchildren. They live near Charlotte, NC.

MY REVIEW: Saving A Sick America is a great book. I read and review many books and I rarely say that one is great. This one is. And, in my opinion, it needs to be read by every American. Our country is in desperate need of a moral and cultural transformation. Michael Brown gives a prescription for that transformation in this book.

I agree with Professor Sean McDowell who wrote, "This book is insightful, convicting, and yet inspiring. My hat is off to Dr. Brown for having the courage to write this book." Brown writes in a clear, extremely readable style. His words are strong, powerful and forceful—but always kind. He hits close to home and urges us to "get our houses in order" but he does so with grace.

Christians will recognize this book as one that can help heal America. And a book that they will want to share with many others. 2017 is rapidly coming to a close and this may be my last book review for the year. It also may be the best book I have reviewed this year.

( I received this book from Book Look Bloggers in exchange for a fair and honest review.)


Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Finding Fulfillment In A World
Obsessed With Happiness
By Emily Esfahani Smith

OVERVIEW: In The Power of Meaning, Emily Esfahani Smith shows us we've been chasing the wrong goal. It's not happiness that makes life worth living—it's meaning. Drawing on the latest research in psychology, as well as insights from philosophy and literature, Smith brings to life the four pillars of meaning—belonging, purpose, storytelling, and transcendence—and introduces us to extraordinary and ordinary people working to build those pillars in their own lives. Finally, she explores how we might begin to create cultures of meaning within our communities and institutions, helping all of us lead richer, more satisfying lives.

AUTHOR: Emily Esfahani Smith is a writer who draws on psychology, philosophy, and literature to write about the human experience. Her writing has appeared in the Wall street Journal, the New York Times, The Atlantic, Time, and other publications—and she delivered a 2017 TED Talk on creating a meaningful life. She is also an instructor of positive psychology at the University of Pennsylvania and an editor at the Stanford University Hoover Institution, where she manages the Ben Franklin Circles project, a collaboration with the 92nd Street Y and Citizen University to build meaning in local communities. She graduated from Dartmouth College and earned a master's in applied positive psychology from the University of Pennsylvania.

MY REVIEW: Reading this book, I have been "blown away" by the tremendous research done by the author. I am in awe of the amount of information in the notes alone. I am a voracious reader and have been for years. But Smith's research has provided wonderful, valuable information that I had not seen or heard about before. She writes clearly and beautifully. Laying out the evidence in an inspiring way as she quietly attacks the idea that happiness is a goal we should aim for in life.

I agree with author, Susan Cain who wrote, "In a culture constantly shouting about happiness, this warm and wise book leads us down the path to what truly matters. Reading it is a life-transforming experience." It took me longer to read this book than most of the ones I read but there was a good reason for it. I kept stopping, meditating and thinking through what I was reading. The book is filled with many stories of people searching for fulfillment. She tells the many struggles of those who look for happiness in all the wrong places. But the best part is when she writes about those who find fulfillment in a world obsessed with happiness.

Author, Adam Grant said "this is a book I've been awaiting for a very long time." I think many others have too. Being a minister I spend much time with the Bible and thinking about God. However I didn't expect this book to be filled with thoughts from the Bible. I am pleased that this book doesn't lead people away from God and the Bible and it will be extremely helpful to all those searching for meaning.

(I received this book from Blogging For Books in exchange for a fair and honest review.)


Friday, November 10, 2017

Heaven, Earth, And The
Restoration Of Everything
You Love
By John Eldredge

OVERVIEW: This revolutionary book about our future is based on the simple idea that, according to the Bible, heaven is not our eternal home—the New Earth is. As Jesus says in the gospel of Matthew, the next chapter of our story begins with "the renewal of all things," by which he means the earth we love in all its beauty, our own selves, and the things that make for a rich life: music, art, food, laughter, and all that we hold dear. Everything shall be renewed "when the world is made new."

AUTHOR: John Eldredge is an author, a counselor, and a teacher. He is also president of Ransomed Heart, a ministry devoted to helping people discover the heart of God, recover their own hearts in God's love, and learn to live in God's kingdom. John and his wife, Stasi, live near Colorado Springs, Colorado.

MY REVIEW: All Things New is one of the best—if not the best, book I have reviewed this year. That's not to say that I readily believe or agree with everything he says about heaven, earth and the restoration of everything we love. But I do agree with most of it and I am studying and reasoning about all of it. Eldredge is a marvelous story teller and I was moved by what he wrote.

All Things New sent me scurrying back to read again N.T. Wright's Surprised By Hope and The Day The Revolution Began. These three books have me rethinking heaven, the resurrection, and the mission of the church.

I agree with J.D. Greear, pastor of The Summit Church, in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, "All Things New is a book about hope—real, gut-wrenching hope in the midst of the beauties and tragedies of life." And also, New York times bestselling author, Dr. John Townsend, "John Eldredge provides us with a very different and intriguing view: that ultimately God will bring about a renewed earth, the one we were supposed to live on and engage in, forever. That sort of hope can empower us to follow the path of growth here and now."

I recommend this book as one that will challenge your thinking and give you hope.

(I received this book from Book Look Bloggers in exchange for a fair and honest review.)


Thursday, November 09, 2017

Healing Scriptures for Your
Mind, Body, and Soul
By Daniel G. Amen, MD

OVERVIEW: Stones of Remembrance is a wonderful resource to help cultivate the healing power of God-focused remembering. The book includes: Key Scriptures to memorize and meditate on so they'll always be with you when you need to be inspired, challenged, or comforted. *An introduction to the biblical and biological basis for remembrance as a healthy life habit. *Tips for incorporating Scripture meditation and memorization into your life and increasing your memory capability.

AUTHOR: Dr. Daniel G. Amen is a physician, a double board-certified psychiatrist, founder of Amen Clinics, a 10-time New York Times bestselling author, and an international speaker. Together with Pastor Rick Warren and Mark Hyman, MD, Dr. Amen is also one of the chief architects of Saddleback Church's Daniel Plan, a program to get the world healthy through religious organizations. Dr. Amen has written, produced, and hosted many popular public television shows about the brain that have aired across North America. he has spoken for the National Security Agency, and his work has been featured in outlets including, Newsweek, Time magazine, the Huffington Post, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and Men's Health.

MY REVIEW: In his introduction to this special book, Dr. Amen tells us that God designed our minds to work—to remember. "It's been that way from the very beginning. "All throughout the Bible, we are encouraged—and even commanded—to remember. Stones of Remembrance—Healing Scriptures for Your Mind, Body, and Soul will help you to do just that—heal.

This is a small book. Just 117 pages. It is well written and easy to read. If you need to improve your memory, and most of us do, this book will be a great help. Part 1 is twelve spiritual disciplines for improving memory. They include rest, exercise, eating healthy, meditation and prayer and eight more needed disciplines. In part 2 Dr. Amen gives verses to remember when you are anxious, grateful, afraid, depressed, sick, angry, and nine more. And I especially like part 3 The Twelve Verses Every Christian Should Know.

The books ends with three Appendix. Three tips and exercises to help improve your memory and memorization. I don't think I am alone in needing this help. This is a book that will be a blessing to you and one that you will want to give as a gift.

(I received this book from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for a fair and honest review.)


Monday, October 30, 2017

A guide to Winning Your Career
By Tim Cole

OVERVIEW: The Compass Solution was written for those who want to win their career, not just endure it. This is the definitive guide to successful career navigation. A practical resource that balances personal experience with proven theory. A guide for both the newcomer struggling to get started, and the veteran lost and effectively wandering. This book will introduce you to the four cardinal points of The Compass. These are the basic principles you can use to change your career trajectory; explained in practical terms and brought to life with personal stories. But the compass Solution is more than just a career survival guide. The latter half of the book focuses on three keys that can accelerate your climb.

AUTHOR: Tim Cole is a successful business leader, author and speaker. He invested three plus decades in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry—through dozens of restructures and five mergers. He held multiple leadership and senior executive positions and played a major role in the ascent of a mid-sized firm into one of the largest in the world, with direct involvement in the launch of 20 plus pharmaceutical brands—six of which became global blockbusters. He's managed thousands of people and portfolios worth billions of dollars.

MY REVIEW: The Compass Solution is a valuable book for anyone who plans to earn a living. You don't have to navigate a career for 30 or 40 years trying to learn how to be successful. You can sit down and read this splendid book and learn how to do it from someone who has already navigated a unique journey.

Tim Cole wrote this book for three distinct groups of people: *Those contemplating a career but lacking the savvy to properly understand and navigate that new world. *Those already in a career and struggling to find their way—which includes over 50 percent of the workforce in the United States alone. *The leaders who can influence and build the cultures that allow dedicated employees to thrive. You're not going to agree with everything in this book and that's alright. But these are the practical lessons that Tim Cole learned along the way. It's not a book on theory. It is focused on function and application.

I believe The Compass Solution will help you write your own career story. A successful one!

(I received this book from The Cadence Group in exchange for a fair and honest review.)


Wednesday, October 25, 2017

I like Jay Leno. And I like what he said in this column he wrote for the Wall Street Journal.

"I have 150 cars and 117 motorcycles. But I don't buy cars to look at---mine are all functioning. A lot of times, you buy the story as much as you buy the car. A few years ago, I got a call from this 91-year-old woman. She had a 1951 Hudson Hornet. She had bought the car new with her husband. He died in '96, and since then it had been parked in the garage. She would go out with this big feather duster and wipe it off. It was in rough shape, but she was such a nice lady, I bought it and took it back to my garage to restore it. Two years later, I call her up and ask het to take a ride in this car. She says, 'Let me call the kids.' They're like 70 and 72! We get in the car and go for a ride. She's laughing and telling stories about the car and her husband, driving it from New Jersey to California in 1951. The kids are laughing. I'm saying, 'Stop it or I'm going to turn this car around' We were hysterical. It was so much fun."

As I said, I like Jay Leno. I'm not sure about the current late night show hosts, Jimmy Kimmel and Stephen Colbert. Well, yes I am but I don't want to talk about them now. Pressing on.


Monday, October 23, 2017

Save Nothing For The Next Life
By Erwin Raphael McManus

OVERVIEW: The Last Arrow is your roadmap to a life that defies odds and alters destinies. Discover the attributes of those who break the gravitational pull of mediocrity as cultural pioneer and thought leader Erwin McManus examines the characteristics of individuals who risked everything for a life that seemed impossible. Imagine living the life you were convinced was only a dream.

AUTHOR: Erwin Raphael McManus is an iconoclast, artist, and cultural thought leader known for his integration of creativity and spirituality. He is the founder of MOSAIC, a los Angeles-based community of faith recognized as one of America's most influential and innovative churches. Erwin is the author of books that have sold more than a million copies worldwide. He lives in Los Angeles, California, with his wife, Kim McManus.

MY REVIEW: With this splendid book McManus has driven an arrow into the ground and declared, "Never settle. It's all or nothing. Save nothing for the next life." He boldly states his challenge and then declares that it will be costly and at great risk. He doesn't offer a back-up plan. Everything is required, including your last arrow. This is tough but McManus believes it is the only way to pursue life's deepest joys and greatest battles—with a full heart and an empty quiver.

I like this book. I like the challenge it presents. We live in a time when it seems all we do is talk, talk, talk. Life is speeding on. We are going to die with our arrows in our hands. McManus wants to know what we are saving those arrows for. It's now or never. It's all or nothing.

This book has a preface and then ten exciting and challenging chapters. The reader is challenged to imagine doing everything he/she was meant to do and then with a full heart, taking his/her final breath. Is that the way you would like to live—and die? Read this book.

(I received this book from Blogging For Books in exchange for a fair and honest review.)


Monday, October 16, 2017


OVERVIEW: The KJV Know the Word Study Bible makes it easy for you to understand God's Word. By breaking down key Bible topics and the books of the Bible into bite-size portions, this Bible makes studying Scripture an approachable and rewarding experience. Readers can choose to study book by book, verse by verse, or topic by topic, Whether you choose one approach or all three,the KJV Know the Word Study Bible gives you practical tools to develop a pattern of regular Bible study.

MY REVIEW: This is an excellent study Bible. If you already have a study Bible you may be asking, "Why do I need another one?" You may not. But if you need, or would like to have a study Bible that is easy to study book by book, verse by verse or topic by topic—this is the one for you.

Some of the features include: *Timeless King James version text; *Three easy approaches to studying the Bible; *Book introductions; *Words of Jesus in red; *Two-color interior page design; *Comprehensive list of theological notes; *Concordance; *Full-color maps.

I especially like how each book of the Bible begins with a summary of the entire book. As you begin the study you are given an overview of what the book is about. And then you are given suggestions on how to study that particular book and also each book begins with a section called, Study The Book Highlights. Another special tool is the notes found in each book. These are valuable and helpful.

The concordance and maps in the back of the Bible are splendid.

The KJV Know the Word Study Bible will help you gain a deeper understanding of Scripture and grow your relationship with God. You may also want to consider giving it as a gift to a friend.

(I received this book from Book Look Bloggers in exchange for a fair and honest review.)


Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The Making Of A Reagan Conservative
By Craig Shirley

OVERVIEW: Returning to Gingrich's childhood in Pennsylvania and his formative years as a young history professor, Citizen Newt moves through Gingrich's first forays into politics and takes readers behind the scenes of the congressman's crucial roll in the Reagan Revolution, his battles with George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, and his masterly orchestration of 1994's "Gingrich Revolution" and the Contract with America, which catapulted him to national prominence and forever changed congressional and national politics.

AUTHOR: Craig Shirley is the author of four critically praised bestsellers about Ronald Reagan. His book, December 1941 appeared multiple times on the New York Times bestseller list. Shirley is the chairman of Shirley & Banister Public Affairs, the Visiting Reagan Scholar and a member of the Board of Trustees at Eureka college. Shirley is also on the Board of Governors of the Reagan Ranch and lectures frequently at the Reagan Library. He has written for an extensive number of publications and has been called "the best of the Reagan biographers" by the Times (London). He and his wife, Zorine, reside at Ben Lomond, a 300-year-old Georgian manor house in Dunnsville, Virginia, and Trickle Down Point on the Rappahannock River in Lancaster, Virginia. They are the parents of four children: Matthew, Andrew, Taylor, and Mitchell.

MY REVIEW: Citizen Newt is a big book, over 500 pages. I have read about a fourth of it and I have skimmed the rest of it. It will be awhile before I read all of it, so I want to get on with this review. I know enough about this book now to agree with Ed Rollins, "Citizen Newt is a must-read for anyone interested in politics or how their government works. As he did with his Reagan books, Shirley takes it all in, making you feel as if you're in the room when the plots are laid and the comebacks seem impossible."

This big book has four parts and thirty-six chapters. I like the fact that Shirley wrote with the full cooperation of Speaker Gingrich and the players around him. He drew upon untold stories from Gingrich and those who knew him best—political allies and opponents, Washington insiders and political iconoclasts, Capitol Hill staffers and colleagues. He took this information and crafted a fascinating, humorous, humanizing and insightful account of a true American original.

I agree with Fred Barnes who said that "Craig Shirley has become the leading biographer of America's political leaders. He did it first with Ronald Reagan and now with Newt Gingrich." As we move into the fall and winter seasons, this would be a splendid book to "curl up" with or to give to a friend or loved one for Christmas.

( I received this book from Book Look Bloggers in exchange for a fair and honest review.)


Monday, September 18, 2017

How to Hear the Voice of God
By Mark Batterson

OVERVIEW: Mark Batterson believes that God still speaks and he's asking if you know how to hear His voice. In this book, Whisper Mark writes that God is actively speaking through: Scripture, Desires, Doors, Dreams, People, Promptings, and Pain. Batterson gives you the tools you need to unlock each of these languages. By learning to tune in to and decipher each language, you'll be able to hear His guidance in simple as well as life-altering choices. God's whisper can answer your most burning questions, calm your deepest fears, and fulfill your loftiest dreams.

AUTHOR: Mark Batterson is the New York Times best-selling author of more than a dozen books. He is the lead pastor of National Community Church, one of the most innovative and influential churches in America. One church with eight campuses, NCC also owns and operates Ebenezers Coffeehouse, the Miracle Theatre, and the DC Dream Center. Mark holds a doctor of ministry degree from Regent University.

MY REVIEW: He's done it again! Whisper is now one of my favorite books, replacing In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day at the top. Mark Batterson knows how to keep your attention. This book, like all his others is a book that is hard to put down.

Many people have a tough time believing God still speaks. I have struggled with this. But I find little in Batterson's book to disagree with. I'm still rethinking and going over in my mind some of his examples of persons hearing God's voice. I'm not saying they did or did not. I'm thinking and praying about it and always going back to Scripture. My advice is that you do the same. I think Batterson would encourage that.

I recommend this as a book that needs to be read by every sincere Christian wanting to hear the "voice" of God.

(I received this book from Blogging For Books in exchange for a fair and honest review.)


Friday, August 18, 2017

Winning the Battle Against Your Giants
By Louie Giglio

OVER VIEW: In Goliath Must Fall, pastor Louie Giglio uncovers a newfound twist in the classic story of David and Goliath. The key to living free from our giants is not better slingshot accuracy, but keeping our eyes on the one and only giant-slayer—Jesus. Put your hope in him and watch Goliath fall.

AUTHOR: Louie Giglio is pastor of Passion City Church and the founder of the Passion movement, which exists to call a generation to leverage their lives for the fame of Jesus. Since 1997, Passion has gathered collegiate-aged young people in events across the U.S. and around the world. Most recently, Passion 2017 gathered more than 55,000 students in Atlanta's Georgia Dome in one of the largest collegiate gatherings in its history. Louie is the author of six books. As a communicator, Louie speaks at events throughout the U.S. and across the globe. He is widely known for messages like "Indescribable" and "How Great Is Our God." An Atlanta native and graduate of Georgia State University, Louie has done postgraduate work at Baylor University and holds a master's degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

MY REVIEW: Goliath Must Fall found its beginning in a series of messages that were preached at Passion City Church. The book is recommended by someone as young as Sadie Robertson and as old as Dr. Charles Stanley. We all, regardless of age face giants that must be dealt with. Maybe not literal giants but BIG problems and challenges that we can't handle. This book offers a pathway away from the fear that has you in its grasp. God wants you to overcome your fears and He is using Louie Giglio and his book to teach you that Goliath must fall. Your Goliath!

Goliath Must Fall is written in a way that keeps your attention. As I read through the chapters I felt like I could hear Louie's voice. There are nine powerful, uplifting chapters. As you read through them your confidence will build. By the time your finish the book you will truly believe that your Goliath must fall. This is a book you will want to read and this pass it on to someone else who needs it.

(I received this book from BOOKLOOK BLOGGERS in exchange for a fair and honest review.)